I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. — John 12:24 NIV
No discipline is pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. — Hebrews 12:22 NIV
It’s cold down here. And damp. And so very black. I can’t tell which way’s up or which way’s down. I can’t see what’s ahead or behind me. I’m all alone.
Oh, for the day when I lived in a nice, warm, bright packet with my family and friends! It was cozy and dry in there. I wanted for nothing. My shell was smooth and sturdy. Nothing could get to what I guarded within.
But one day a hand ripped open the packet and shook me onto the ground. Then clumps of moist dirt covered me, and I was alone in this strange, cold, dark, place. What did I do to deserve this? I cried. Why me? But no one answered.
Time passed. I didn’t know when it was day or night. How long? I wondered—and wept. Just when the ground around me became comfortably dry, water seeped through the soil, chilling me and softening my shell. Then one day, it cracked open. Oh, my beautiful shell! Oh, the pain! My innermost being was now exposed to the ugly world around me.
But I was changing. A tiny green arm sprouted from my insides, and I began reaching, stretching—until I pushed through the soil into the brightness above. Uncurling, I lifted my face. I felt the warm caress of the sun and the whispery kiss of the wind.
Day after day, night after night, I reached and reached and reached. Then one day a tiny bud appeared on my stalk. Slowly, it unfolded, opening to the sun and wind and rain.
“Oh, how beautiful!” I heard a voice exclaim one day as I danced with the breeze.
Do they mean me? I wondered. I wasn’t beautiful as a seed. I only became beautiful when I died to what I was and allowed the soil and water to change me. And when I reached for the sun.
My flower is fading now, but I’m not done yet. Deep within my blossom are countless seeds, just like I was once. Someone carefully removes them, dries them in the sun, and places them in a clean, dry packet.
Dear God, I am that seed—falsely content in my envelope world. But You know what it will take to transform me into what You have planned. Just when despair is about to overwhelm me, remind me there is a purpose for the cold, dark, lonely times—a purpose for the pain. Grant me the strength to keep reaching and the faith to believe that someday I WILL bask in the light of the Son. Amen.
Read and reflect on James 1:2–4.
From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
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